New Technique to Receive Sharper Images

April 29, 2009

A new imaging method that could help to build more powerful microscopes and other optical devices by producing sharper images and a wider field of view has been developed by Princeton researches. The research was led by Jason Fleischer, assistant professor of electrical engineering and co-written with two graduate students Christopher Barsi and Wenjie Wan. The new method takes advantage of the unusual properties of nonlinear optical materials in which light rays mix with each other in complex ways. Thanks to the mixing of rays, information that would otherwise be lost manages to reach the detector. Therefore this picture would be rich in detail but it would also be distorted. To capture this otherwise lost visual information, the researchers used a hologram. The hologram is a special type of photograph which records „phase“ – a light property which measures the time and location of a wave peak. They also combined data from a normal camera. Then they created a simplified flow of light through a nonlinear material and developed a computer algorithm that takes the distorted image and works backwards to calculate the visual information at every point in space between the image and the object.
www.princeton.edu

An object illuminated by light reflects rays in many different directions (gray arrows). Left: With a normal lens, some rays are captured and refract towards a camera while others are missed, resulting in a blurry image with a limited field of view. Right: The new method uses a nonlinear material. The original rays are altered and new rays (red) are generated. The resulting picture is scrambled, but a computer algorithm can undo the mixing and yield a sharp, wide-field image.

An object illuminated by light reflects rays in many different directions (gray arrows). Left: With a normal lens, some rays are captured and refract towards a camera while others are missed, resulting in a blurry image with a limited field of view. Right: The new method uses a nonlinear material. The original rays are altered and new rays (red) are generated. The resulting picture is scrambled, but a computer algorithm can undo the mixing and yield a sharp, wide-field image. (Image: Christopher Barsi)

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The Smallest Periscope

März 11, 2009

A team of Vanderbilt scientists have invented the world’s smallest version of the periscope and are using it to look at cells and other microorganisms from several sides at once. The researchers have dubbed their devices „mirrored pyramidal wells.“ They consist of pyramidal-shaped cavities molded into silicon whose interior surfaces are coated with a reflective layer of gold or platinum. They are in dimension about the width of a human hair and can be made in a range of sizes to view different-sized objects. When a cell is placed in such a well and viewed with a regular optical microscope, the researcher can see not only the top of the cell, but several sides simultaneously. „This is something biologists almost never see,“ says team member Chris Janetopoulos, assistant professor of biological sciences.
The Vanderbilt group is not the first to make microscopic pyramidal wells, but it is the first to apply them to make 3D images of microorganisms. In 2006, a group of scientists in England created pyramidal micromirrors and applied them to trapping atoms. And last spring researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology used similar structures to track nanoparticles.
www.vanderbilt.edu

Taken by Kevin Seale, Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education

Sunflower pollen, taken by Kevin Seale, Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education


RMS Events 2009

Februar 18, 2009

The Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) announced a programme of events for imaging and microscopy taking place in the UK in 2009.

16 March:
NanoFIB Meeting, Oxford, UK

17-20 March:
Microscopy of Semi-Conducting Materials XVI, Oxford, UK

24-25 March:
Capturing Colloids Meeting, Manchester, UK

30-31 March:
Electron Backscatter Diffraction Meeting, Swansea, UK

27 May:
Flow Cytometry Immunophenotyping of Leukaemia & Lymphoma, London, UK

9-12 June:
European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI), Glasgow, UK

24-25 June:
UK SPM (Scanning Probe Microscopy Meeting), London, UK

15-17 July:
Flowcytometry UK 2009, Oxford, UK

www.rms.org.uk


WITec Academy Established

Februar 6, 2009

WITec, a manufacturer of high-resolution optical and scanning probe microscopy solutions, has established the WITec Academy as a new forum for advanced instrument and software operation training. It offers basic and expert level courses covering the entire range of WITec products. Experienced and new users are offered a graded course structure with seminars and hands-on training sessions. The full day courses are held frequently throughout the year. Participants will receive training materials and a certificate of attendance.
www.witec.de


Observing Cells in Solution

Februar 3, 2009

Chikara Sato and Toshihiko Ogura of the Structure Physiology Group at the Neuroscience Research Institute of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, (AIST) have collaborated with Mitsuo Suga and Hidetoshi Nishiyama of the Clair Project at Jeol, Japan, to develop an atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) capable of observing aqueous samples and cells in solution at atmospheric pressures. Conventional electron microscopes view samples in vacuum and are unable to image wet samples or samples in solution.
www.aist.go.jp
www.jeol.com


Analysis of the World Microscopes Market

Januar 13, 2009

The key challenges and issues the world microscope market is facing were recently published in the report “World Microscopes Market” on the market research engine Reportlinker. The specific product segments analyzed are Optical Microscopes, Charged Particle Microscopes, and Scanning Probe Microscopes. The report also contains an assessment of the world market by end-use applications like Semiconductor Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Materials and Nanotechnology. Further, this market research provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Latin America and includes a forecast for each region for the period of 2000 through 2015. The report profiles 105 companies including many key and niche players worldwide, for which data were mostly extracted from URL research and reported select online sources. The market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research.

See Reportlinker